Weather Conditions in Rescue Missions

Excessive rain or strong wind are also factors that can affect the dog's sense of smell, on the other hand there are other things such as humidity that can actually help the dog. While searching for someone, it is actually harder for a dog to smell a terrain that has been recently stepped on. The ideal is an area that has been stepped on fifteen or twenty minutes earlier because this allows time for the odorous molecules of a person to have set into the ground. However, this tracking process will begin to wear off once more time passes.

Usually when a person goes missing 24 hours have to pass by and the footprints and traces of that person can have become altered due to the atmospheric conditions like the wind, heat, rain, humidity etc. The dog can begin its search without having previously smelt anything until it ends up picking up a smell on the ground or in the air, from this moment and when this happens one of these two resources (or both) will help guide the dog to its objective.

Usually dogs prefer to stop smelling the ground and let themselves be guided by the smell the air carries. This will bring about the search in a natural way, tracking and sniffing the air. Interfering with the dog at this point would deplete the dog's operative capability. Because of this, the introductory training, the person assisting will need to run in a straight line and then hide in a determined spot or place, then later on the same person will run around in a semicircle, this will make the dog have to cut through the way and it will begin to trust in its sense of smell more in order to get to the person.

Another thing that can happen is that the dog localizes and traces the assistant and then begins to follow him or her. In a case like this or when this happens, just widen the semicircle in the next practice and this will force the dog to use its sense of smell in the air to get to its objective, or to the person.

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